TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Privacy Guru Locks Down VOIP

Privacy Guru Locks Down VOIP

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 30 Jul 2005 23:50:42 -0400

By Kim Zetter

First there was PGP e-mail. Then there was PGPfone for modems. Now
Phil Zimmermann, creator of the wildly popular Pretty Good Privacy
e-mail encryption program, is debuting his new project, which he hopes
will do for internet phone calls what PGP did for e-mail.

Zimmermann has developed a prototype program for encrypting voice over
internet protocol, or VOIP, which he will announce at the BlackHat
security conference in Las Vegas this week.

Like PGP and PGPfone, which he created as human rights tools for
people around the world to communicate without fear of government
eavesdropping, Zimmermann hopes his new program will restore some of
the civil liberties that have been lost in recent years and help
businesses shield themselves against corporate espionage.

VOIP, or internet telephony, allows people to speak to each other
through their computers using a microphone or phone. But because VOIP
uses broadband networks to transmit calls, conversations are
vulnerable to eavesdropping in the same way that e-mail and other
internet traffic is open to snoops. Attackers can also hijack calls
and reroute them to a different number.

Few people consider these risks, however, when they switch to VOIP.,1282,68306,00.html

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